YOUTH activist Michelo Chizombe has maintained that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) violated the Constitution when it permitted Edgar Lungu to participate in the 2021 general elections.

He said the electoral body ought to have rejected Lungu’s nomination papers as he did not qualify to contest for the presidency thrice.

Chizombe is questioning Lungu’s eligibility to contest in the 2021 general election and future elections after being sworn into the office of President twice

He wants the Court to declare that Lungu’s participation in the previous election was unconstitutional.

Chizombe who has cited Lungu, the Electoral Commission of Zambia and the Attorney General as respondents in the matter indicated that Lungu contravened the constitution when he participated in the August 12, 2021 general elections.

In its answer to the petition, the ECZ said it abided by the requisite laws during the processing of Lungu’s nomination and did not breach any provisions of the law or constitution during that process.

Brown Kasaro who is the chief electoral officer said ECZ is guided by the relevant Electoral laws which, among others, include the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act no. 2 of 2016 , Electoral Process Act no.35 of 2016 and Regulations promulgated thereunder.

He said ECZ abided by all the requisite laws for processing nominations for presidential candidates.

“Article 52 (2) of the Constitution (Amendment) Act no. 2 of 2016 obliges the second respondent to either accept or reject nomination papers filed by a candidate wishing to contest for Presidential elections,”said Kasaro.

“Article 52 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act no.2 of 1016 provides adequate grievance mechanisms to challenge the nomination process.”

In his reply to ECZ, Chizombe said Article 52 being referred to by ECZ mandates the returning officer to reject the nomination papers if the candidate does not meet the qualifications or procedural requirements specified for election to the office of president.

“The subsequent nomination of Lungu and consequent participation in the general elections of 2021 was unconstitutional,” said Chizombe.

“The second respondent was in breach of its Constitutional provisions when it accepted the nomination of the first respondent by putting him on the ballot paper and later enabling him to participate in the August 2021 elections.”



  1. No matter what we are going to say about ECL’s eligibility, the constitution court ruled that the gentle man is eligible and they have to maintain their pronouncement. Otherwiz if they are going to change by saying he is not eligible, then we are doomed as a nation. Law is Law and if the
    constitution court made a mistake then they have to mantain that same mistake

  2. Do you expect ECL’S appointees to rule otherwise?
    A Two pronged approach was employed to legitimize a Third term bid and it worked! On one hand you had the Bill 10 distraction and the threatened Final Court whose ruling cannot be challenged.
    This is the trouble with Law!
    What is written may be straight forward but it’s the so called interpretation of the court that adds to the confusion!
    The spirit of the Law according to those who designed our constitution is that no one should rule beyond 10 years! This is the reason why they coined the phrase “SWORN TWICE” and “TWICE ELECTED”
    Human Beings are not infallible!
    It’s therefore a strange arrangement to have a situation where the Concourt decisions should not be challenged in a Democracy!

  3. This is a straight forward case …The Constitution is clear on what constitutes a Presidential Term. And the Constitutional Court based its ruling on the article which defines a presidential term as more than 3 years.
    Further a court can’t make a different ruling on the same case it had ruled on.That can only happen in a banana Republic.. a failed nation.But we are living in strange times!
    Chief Justice Malila wants to realign the Constitutional Court to be a branch of the Supreme Court…
    We will watch this closely. If the intention of these reforms is to make the concourt subordinate to the Supreme Court, then they have all the hallmarks of Mr Mingalato..They know the Concourt can’t rule against itself, but if you make it subordinate to the Supreme Court , then the higher court can over rule the Junior Court. Mr Mingalato at work. Let’s wait and see.

    • The USA Supreme Court in the famous case of ROE vs WADE made abortion legal in 1973. That decision has since been overturned by the same court. In the Zambian case of the illegal stay of Edgar Lungu’s ministers after dissolution of the 2011- 2016 Parliament, the Constitutional Court was made to hear the same matter twice. What happened to the principle of finality in litigation that EdgarLungu is now pleading? This is legal minefield and I hope the Constitutional Court will endeavour to answer these questions in its judgement.

  4. The cases cited Roe V Wade (1973) and ECL Ministers staying after dissolution of Parliament were not anchored on Constitutional Provisions, but on the judicial interpretation of court cases brought before the courts which then made rulings resulting in Judicial precedents. (Refer to Lacunas). Are courts bound by such Judicial precedents? Yes and No. Yes if the Precedent is not in conflict with the provisions of the Law taking into account later amendments..No if the Precedent is in Conflict with the provisions of the Law as amended later.
    The law as stipulated in the Constitution regarding the case of ECL’s eligibility is as it was when the case was brought before the Courts 4 years ago..And it’s therefore unlikely that the Concourt will make a different ruling from the earlier one.
    But we thank the young man for bringing this case before the court. It will put to rest all the talk about the third term.


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